Jeff Kindler's Centrexion renews bid to make public debut
Jeffrey Kindler’s plan to take his biotech — which is developing a slate of non-opioid painkillers — public, is back on.
The Boston based company, led by former Pfizer $PFE chief Kindler, originally contemplated a $70 million to $80 million IPO last year— but eventually postponed that strategy. On Wednesday, the company revived its bid to make a public debut in a filing with the SEC — although no pricing details were disclosed.
With the United States struggling to contain the plague of opioid abuse, misuse and addiction, states and regulatory agencies are working on cutting back prescription painkiller use, as well as castigating the purported architects of the crisis — the need for non-opioid analgesic options are imperative.
Centrexion’s approach to chronic pain management is to target the origin of the pain signal. Opioids work by binding to specific receptors found across the body including in the brain and spinal cord, rather than the specific source of chronic pain in the peripheral nervous system, while NSAIDs and steroids target inflammation.
The company’s lead experimental drug is CNTX-4975, a man-made version of a chili plant extract called trans-capsaicin, and it’s engineered to work by inactivating local pain fibers transmitting signals to the brain. It is in late-stage development for use in moderate to severe pain due to knee osteoarthritis (OA). One Phase III trial is expected to readout in the first quarter of next year, while the other in the third quarter of 2020.
Although the company has studied CNTX-4975 in Morton’s neuroma and in canine OA, none of these indications are currently being pursued as Centrexion prioritizes the knee OA program, it said.
In addition, the company has three other drugs-in-development.
In July, the company granted Lilly the license to develop its early-stage drug, CNTX-0290. Centrexion’s experimental drug, CNTX-6016 is being tested in Phase I studies for use in inflammatory pain and neuropathic pain, while CNTX-2022 is being evaluated for superficial pain.
Since its inception in 2013, Centrexion has raised about $163.5 million in private financings, and its key investors include New Enterprise Associates, InterWest Partners, Quan Capital Management, Arrowmark Partners, Clough Capital Partners, 6 Dimensions Capital, and Lilly Asia Ventures.
In July, Lilly granted Centrexion $47.5 million upfront, as well as a potential $950 million in development and sales milestone payments.